Press conference

'I've been very impressed with his leadership'

Mikel Arteta

Martin Odegaard has already made a lasting impression on Mikel Arteta.

The Norway international only joined us on loan from Real Madrid last month, starting for the first time against Leeds United on Sunday, but already has our manager purring.

"I followed him very closely when he was at Real Sociedad and he had a lot of opportunities and he was really impressive over there for long periods," Arteta said.

"He had a really successful season over there and that’s one of the reasons why I was so convinced that he’s a player for us. He’s a player that I really like and as you say, still has huge potential to become even better.

"He’s a really focused and humble boy that was really keen to join, but he just wants to play football in the right way and then he said some really good things. He’s a really nice guy, the players like him, the staff like him, he’s easy going, a really hard worker, and I’ve been very impressed with his leadership.

"He looks a little bit calm but on the pitch he’s got something about him. I’ve been really impressed with him. It’s how he talks to his teammates and how he, for example, commands the high press.

"Then the personality that he brings and shows every time the opponent comes towards him he still wants the ball in the right areas. His decision making is really good and he’s a really intelligent player.

"It's how he talks to his team-mates, how he commands the high press and then the personality he shows. Every time the opponent comes after him, he still shows for the ball in the right areas. His decision making is really good and he's a really intelligent player."

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